"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mary's Art Studio

Last summer, while watching HGTV's "That's Clever" where crafters show off their studios, my 6 year old Mary, turned and asked, "Mommy, can I have an art studio?" It was music to my ears!
At first though, it seemed impossible. Where could we possibly find a little art studio for her? The basement's too dark and damp, the attic needs heat. Both kids share a bedroom. hmmm......AHA! I KNOW!

What used to be the original foyer to the house, a tiny little dark room we were using to store the vacuum cleaner and coats, could be converted! It'd be tiny, but just perfect for a 6 year old.

In two month's time, I scraped off two layers of 63 year old wallpaper, learned to chip off old water-soaked plaster and spackle the right way, and painted walls, and shelves. An antique writing desk we had stored in the attic made the perfect work station. Ted hung sage green shelves to store her gymnastics awards, pictures, and vintage metal lunchboxes filled with markers, crayons, and other supplies. I traced and painted her favorite characters on the walls (Disney fairies, Smurfs, the original Strawberry Shortcake characters, Lightening McQueen, and Mater). A colorful little rug and vintage Carebears tin wastebasket made the perfect accents. Finally, we invested in a really good artist's lamp. Of course, when she saw me painting characters on the walls, she had to try it herself. So I let her have one wall to freely draw on!

Now, what was once the smelly old dark closet, is now a bright, welcoming little studio for Mary. She loves spending time in there, creating and framing her works of art, making Valentines and cards for her friends, and sometimes "just needing privacy" as she puts it. The best part is, it was all done on a dime.

If any of you crave a space to call your own, think of us...in our tiny little home...converting a tiny little closet. It's amazing what you can do on very little money and a lot of creativity.

At this point, we're hoping to convert the attic into an extra bedroom or two. Maybe then I'll also have a studio of my own. Like mother like daughter. Or in this case...like daughter like mother!!

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